As the Argentium Guild is a global family we thought it would be interesting to take a fun look at seasonal winter traditions around the globe, some of which you may not have heard of. Everyone is aware of Christmas, Thanksgiving and Hannukah, but there are many other lesser known holidays, traditions & celebrations which take place in December and into winter.
Elizabeth Hunt, Jeweller Elizabeth runs courses in Argentium and classic Pearl stringing from her workshop in Lincolnshire. View Elizabeth's TV Demos with JewelleryMaker here.
Kimjang Gatherings – Spicy!
In South Korea a traditional activity in late November/ early December is for friends, families and communities to gather together to make the spicy fermented cabbage dish, Kimchi.
Aside from the joys of doing something as part of a group, it is known that the spices in this aromatic and hot accompaniment, garlic, chili, Korean Pepper and ginger are all beneficial to health as indeed is fermented food and eating it is supposed to help prevent winter bugs.
Czech It Out! December 25 – Kick Your Shoes Off
Whilst we are tucking into Christmas lunch on December 25th, in the Czech Republic, single women are taking their shoes off and throwing them at their houses to determine whether they will get married in the following year.
Depending on how the shoe lands determines their fate! If the heel is facing towards them then there is great joy as this means they will marry, if it faces the wall of their house, it’s another single year!
Chinese Winter Solstice – Dongzhi festival - 21 December
The Chinese Dongzhi festival celebrates the winter solstice and the tuning point when the nights start lengthening out again and warmer times are coming, One of the traditions of this festival is the making of beautifully formed dumplings as you can see some of these are reminiscent of ears and this is because legend has it, that to stop frostbite in the harsh Chinese winters homeless people were given freshly made hot dumplings, ears are one of the first areas to be effected by frostbite and so legend says it was symbolic of balancing our Ying and Yang, and offering charity to those less fortunate.
Yule Lads, Not Logs – No Stockings Here...
In Iceland, during the 13 days leading up to Christmas; elves, trolls and mythological creatures roam the tundra looking for children – these creatures are known as 'Yule Lads'. Their goal is to select both the good and naughty children in the run up to Christmas and leave a small gift.
Unlike other European countries who use stockings for such gifts, the Icelanders use a shoe. If you have been good, you will find something nice, if you have been naughty...expect a rotten potato!
Noche De los Rábanos – The Night Of The Raddish – A Vegan Nightmare!
In Oaxaca Mexico, December 23rd is the start of a 3 day festival dedicated to Radishes (and other root vegetables).
The tradition started as farmers carved vegetables to encourage shoppers to visit their stalls and it has grown into an extraordinary festival which attracts visitors from around the globe.
Have you heard of any of these traditions and have you taken part? And what traditions does your family get up to during the holiday season?
Elizabeth studied silversmithing and jewellery design at Sir John Cass School of art, part of the Guildhall University. Her degree covered not just the use of precious metals but also mixed materials including ceramics and glass ... Read more.
Excellent Storage For Your Jumprings – A Perfect Christmas gift
If you struggle with storing your jump rings, the Jump Rings - Selection Box is perfect to keep them all in once place. Our Jump Ring Selection Box is labelled to make storing and organising your pieces easy. It comes pre-loaded and is spacious so you can add to it as needed.